Saturday, May 12, 2007

Davids we love (and a Paul)...

When it comes to pioneering and charismatic broadcasting Brit biologists you've got two Davids to choose from:

David Attenborough (top), the man who invented the nature documentary and whose 1979 TV series "Life on Earth" still warbles through high school projectors around the globe.
David Bellamy (bottom) a world-class botanist, environmetnalist and (say it isn't so David) a global warming sceptic...

If it came to a smack down, I'd have to choose Attenborough and here's why... But first, let me say that Bellamy is just an incredible visionary, a gifted (if somewhat gummy-mouthed) speaker, and an indisputably great wooly bear of a human. Someone who laughs hard and loud and probably snores with gusto too. But Attenborough has the legacy, the momentum, the infinite miles clocked in around the globe. I hear he's tough to work for and a bit of a snob, but that's just heresay.

What really tips the scales for me is a completely personal bias. You see, I saw "Life on Earth" in a high school biology class with seven people in it. One of those people just happened to be Paul Giamatti. Yes, he was hilarious back then too. The long afternoon hours we all spent in a dark classroom hysterically laughing and tearing apart Attenborough's silly mannerisms and accents (while still learning a thing or two along the way) is something I am recalling this morning with great clarity and fondness. Our teacher, Ian Morris, was a great guy too. He knew that text books were no match for the power of Attenborough. Added bonus: Clips from "Life on Earth" appear in one of my favorite films of all time: "A Zed and Two Noughts"

So, let's be clear: I'd probably rather drink a bottle of whiskey in the Amazon canopy with David Bellamy. But it's Attenborough who wins the prize for getting his ivy all up in my brickwork. As for Mr. Giamatti, I hope we get the chance to reminisce over those halcyon adolescent days with a glass of Pinot Noir soon.

Bellamy :facts and in action
Attenborough: facts and in action
Giamatti: facts and in action


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